In 2001, we approached The Daily Record about increasing coverage of the nonprofit sector. Eleven years and 260 columns later, I find myself writing the final column. My tenure as the president of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) comes to an end, and with it, the completion of my telling the great stories of philanthropy and stories about the role nonprofit organizations play in our community and our world. On Monday, I enthusiastically welcomed Celeste Amato to ABAG as its new president.
With this column, we charged ourselves with presenting the wide array of issues that philanthropy touches. My hope was that the column would not only help shed light on the efforts made by the funding community, but would also capture the interest of nonprofit organizations and those not actively involved in philanthropy so that we might together improve the quality of life in our community.
A core underpinning of the columns has been the recognition that we all need to be ambassadors for the organizations and issues we care about. Whether a donor, staff member or trustee of a foundation or nonprofit, we have a communication role to play. Communicating how foundations and nonprofit organizations tackle some of society’s most pressing problems brings increased attention to promising solutions and sparks collaborations that might make our community a better place for all of its residents.
Much has changed over these years, though the necessity of telling stories and encouraging others to join in the philanthropic arena remain today. Fortunately, the avenues for telling these stories and the recognition of the impact of the charitable sector have increased substantially.
When we started the column, we hoped there would be enough stories to share. I realize now that the stories keep coming and that there are now many narrators, communicating through website postings, blogs, tweets and other social media outlets.
ABAG now hosts “Adventures in Philanthropy” blog posts written by our staff, board, ABAG members and partners, aiming to offer a glimpse into the world of philanthropy, presenting current issues and information relevant to funders, policymakers, members of the media and those interested in issues and philanthropic trends. I invite you to visit www.abagrantmakers.org/adventuresinphilanthropy and encourage you to share your own views through this blog.
It has been an honor to shed light on the work of the giving community and how it affects where we live. I am often asked what is next for me. First, I am still in Baltimore and of Baltimore. I am eager to be less of an observer and more of a “doer.” But first, hitting the Nelson red couch and just vegging is in order. My thanks to all of you.
Betsy Nelson is the former president of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers. She can be reached at [email protected]